About the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

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The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a civil rights act that protects disabled individuals living and working in the United States. The purpose of the act was to set a clear definition of disabilities and prevent discrimination on the basis of disability. The act attempts to provide a clear mandate prohibiting the discrimination against individuals with disabilities, provide standards for enforcing standards describing disability and discrimination, and to ensure government assistance in enforcing the standards established.

The Americans with Disabilities Act clearly states that:

• Disability is defined as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual.

• Major life activities include bodily functions and actions (such as walking, breathing, speaking…etc).

• Individuals with mental or physical disabilities may not be discriminated against or prohibited from participating in aspects of society.

• Discrimination exists in social areas such as employment, housing, transportation, education, health services, recreation, voting, and social services.

• Employers may not discriminate against an individual with disabilities. This includes discrimination in regards to job applications, hiring, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms of employment.

• Public buildings should provide easy access to those with disabilities.

• Employers should provide “reasonable accommodation” for individuals with disabilities, including renovation of existing facilities for easier access, shifting work schedules, and modifying devices, training materials, and other articles of industry for ease-of-use.

Individuals with disabilities have a reasonable expectation of participation in society and the Americans with Disabilities Act goes a long way toward guaranteeing equality for all. Employers are expected not to add “undue hardship” on employees with disabilities and should make all attempts to provide a comfortable work environment for everyone who works for the company.

In addition to federal protections regarding discrimination and disability, many disabled individuals are eligible for Social Security disability benefits as well. These benefits are usually granted to individuals based on the level of disability, employment history, and the individual’s personal situation. Persons living with disability are encouraged to consult an experienced social security disability attorney if they have any questions regarding Social Security benefits.

For more information regarding Social Security disability benefits, visit the website of the Indianapolis Social Security attorneys of the Charles D. Hankey Law Office.  

Joseph Devine

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